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One Month as a Digital Nomad: What Greece Has Taught Me

It has been exactly one month since I’ve set off on the journey to become a digital nomad.

I’m currently in Naxos, Greece – LOVING life. I love the people, the lifestyle, and the relaxing slow-paced vibes. I also just enjoy being near the beach; I think I’m 50% happier being around bodies of water.

digital nomad life

I’ve also been listening to an excessive amount of Disney jams this week, and for some reason Mandy Moore’s “When Will My Life Begin” (Tangled) has been on repeat.

It got me thinking about pre-nomad days in America. I was always dreaming for life to begin.

Coincidentally, yesterday my friend told me something along the lines of “I’m waiting for real life to happen.” After asking what that meant, he said that real life is when he’ll become his own boss and build the life he wants, creating things that he’s passionate about.

And as he messaged me this, I walked back to the hotel, from this view, thinking about my past month abroad:

Naxos, Greece

And I realized, I’ve stopped “waiting”.

Back home, I was consumed with dread, boredom, complacency, and wishful thinking for the future. I would write down goals of “I need to finish this by this age, create an album by this age, start a company by this age, own property in this location by this age, get married by this age.” and etc. Every day was a blur. All I knew was “Friday is in 2 days” and “Oh crap, it’s almost Monday”. Each day I longed for something more, while never actually being satisfied with ‘today’.  Life was a lot of “let’s get this week over with” and “I hope I’m able to do ____ in the near future.”

Now?

I feel much more in the moment. I’m constantly looking around at my surroundings, working on my projects, talking to new people, and most of all, I’m not waiting for the future to happen. I’m not bogged down by poisonous thoughts of what my life needs to be like; I’m just happy with how things are and grateful I’m alive.

Here is a relevant video I recently saw, about how traveling boosts your creative levels of thinking by 50% and decreases activity in the parts of the brain that produce psychological illness. And not only is my healthier mindset because of the act of traveling, I think I’m also getting positive influences from the Greek way of living.

Go Kart Naxos Greece

Spontaneous day of go-kart racing in Naxos, Greece

Every time I ask one of my Greek friends “what are we doing today?” The answer is always something along the lines of “I don’t know. Anything.” or “I never make plans…that takes away the meaning of a ‘free day'”.

Something I appreciate about the Greek lifestyle as mentioned in my first impressions of the country is their ability to live in the present and worry less. Because, nothing else actually matters, if you think about it. We’re never actually in the past or in the future as the present is the only state we’re living in…

I’ve only met creatives in Greek. I’ve met chefs, bartenders, DJs, and even entrepreneurs who have tons of property and have sold companies. Sometimes I feel like these types of people are more in control of their lives. I don’t see them waiting. I see them grabbing life by the horns and taking themselves in the direction of how they want their lives to be.

santorini greece

As you can see though, there is still future consideration involved. I don’t believe in cruising through life without some type of direction, goal, or even plan. You should always try to live to your fullest potential, promote good, and become an impactful being to society. With the privilege of being alive, we can’t take any of it for granted! But I also don’t believe in “waiting” or putting off your passions. Because if you continue sacrificing the present moment hoping things will change, you might never get to see where life could have taken you. So I think there’s a balance between being carefree & living in the moment, and working towards future goals. 





People back home know that I’m paranoid and have a lot of anxiety. But similarly, I know so many people back home who would “wait” and “put off life” while wishing for the future as well. Greece has taught me to slow down a bit and enjoy the moment. I don’t know how ephemeral these thoughts are, but I hope they stay permanent. In the grand scheme of things, we can die at any moment so we should live life our way and enjoy the present day.(Click here to view my 2nd post about Greek learnings…maybe the carefree nature is a double edged sword…)

santorini sunset

Today my friend exclaimed in fear “NOOOOO I’m turning 26 tomorrow!” Back in America I would have probably responded with something like “AHHHH WE’RE TURNING 26 SOON, NOOOO!”

Aging was one of my greatest fears.

Instead I found myself telling him “Hey, that means 1 more year we are still alive :)”.

 

If you liked this post you might like “I’ve Learned Something About Greece and About Myself…”

4 Comments

  1. BledJon BledJon

    Wonderful article and a great reminder to stay in the present. There is a proverb that says “Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one Sharon!

    • digitalnomadquest digitalnomadquest

      I like that saying. Ah thanks so much! 🙂

  2. That’s pretty cool you left your job at Google after just a couple years to do this. Was the job hard to deal with? Seems like so many folks want to join Google, and not too many want to leave so quickly. I gotta find that post regarding you leaving somewhere.

    • digitalnomadquest digitalnomadquest

      Thanks! Actually I went to a startup after Google and then quit that :).

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